Do sleep problems lead to Parkinson’s?
Sleep deprivation and fragmented sleep do appear to leave the brain more vulnerable to oxidative stress, which has been tied to the development of Parkinson’s disease and cognitive impairment (6). People with Parkinson’s disease may experience REM sleep disorder that occurs months, and sometimes years, before more noticeable symptoms, like tremors or shaking.
There are two forms of Parkinson’s disease, and only one of them results in RBD as an early symptom. The majority of cases originate in the central nervous system, but about 30% of Parkinson’s cases originate in the part of the nervous system that resides in the gut, the enteric nervous system.
The form of Parkinson’s that originates in the gut is known as “body-first Parkinson’s disease”. And the hallmark deposits of the previously mentioned α-synuclein protein are formed in the neurons in the intestine (7). It’s this “body-first Parkinson’s” which is associated with extremely vivid dreams and movement during sleep.
Could it help improve early intervention for Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is not usually diagnosed until individuals have developed sufficient motor symptoms, by which time a significant portion of brain cells have already been damaged. If sleep disturbances foreshadow the development of Parkinson’s symptoms, these could be useful in early diagnosis of the disease (8).
Getting enough sleep, in general, is important to our overall health, and some research indicates that sleep and circadian dysfunction can lead to neurological disorders. Regardless of whether you’re at risk of sleep disorders or Parkinson’s disease, prioritizing restful sleep every night will pay off for your health and longevity.
Get better sleep & reduce sleep issues
If you have trouble sleeping, consider following the next tips to achieve better sleep quality. Higher quality sleep may help decrease your risk factors for acute and chronic health issues.
Stick to a regular schedule, even on weekends. Good sleep hygiene means having a consistent bedtime and wake time. Even on the weekends, try to go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time every day.
Try a sleep-supporting supplement. In addition to a consistent sleep schedule, supplements that contain magnesium, GABA, or relaxing herbs can help with falling asleep.
Avoid certain foods & drinks before bedtime. Coffee, a glass of wine, or a super sugary dessert can all cause sleep difficulties.
Design an ideal sleeping environment. Take screens out of your bedroom. Aim for dim lights, low sounds, and a calm, inviting bedroom to help you fall asleep. Avoid things that are too stimulating, like your phone, TV, or bright lights.
Protect cognitive health with functional medicine
Ask your provider at CentreSpringMD about how functional medicine can help you identify and address the root cause of your sleep-related issues as well as staying proactive about cognitive health. the diverse options available for allergy symptoms. In addition to dietary, lifestyle, and targeted supplementation, your doctor may also recommend:
- Genetic testing
- Gut function analysis
- Metabolic testing
- Toxicity analysis
Contact your CentreSpringMD team today to get started. Together, you’ll find the right integrative therapies to support healthy brain health and cognition at any stage of life.